Outlaw bonding employees charged with armed robbery

Published 1:28 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A man picked up for a bench warrant six months ago has pressed charges against employees of A-1 Outlaw Bonding agency for armed robbery.

The incident is reported to have taken place in June but charges were not pressed against the bonding agency until Dec. 17. Two employees of the agency, Elisha Shere Bourgeois, 28, of 1107 Blackwell Lane, and Kenneth Dominick Maynard, 27, of 1326 McNeill Henleyfield Rd., have been picked up by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department on armed robbery warrants.

Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said the complainant stated he was kidnapped at gunpoint and robbed by two employees of A-1 Outlaw Bonding and two other still unidentified subjects.

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Saucier said the incident involved Bourgeois, Maynard and two other people who chased the man down, took him into custody at gunpoint and stole money from him.

Carol Pearson, owner-operator of A-1 Outlaw Bonding, said the complainant, Mark Harris, 28, of 7 Simmons Hill Rd., Carriere was wanted for a bench warrant. Pearson says the money taken from Harris was to pay for bounty hunter fees, which are normally $250. A receipt was issued to Harris’ mother at her request, Pearson said.

Harris’ statement given to the Sheriff’s department states he was taken into custody at gunpoint after the chase, handcuffed and put into an SUV. The money was taken from him by Bourgeois and Maynard, while Maynard was in possession of a gun. Saucier said the investigation shows that Bourgeois is a bonding agent with A-1 Outlaw Bonding while Maynard is paid by the company for assisting the agency in locating subjects.

The other people involved in the alleged incident are being investigated, Saucier said.

Pearson said this is not the first time they had to send out agents to pick Harris up for not showing up for a court date. On a previous attempt to locate Harris in May, he escaped into the woods, running from both her agents and Sheriff’s deputies. On the date of the alleged robbery and kidnapping, June 3, her company received information that Harris was out in the Walkiah area. Pearson said her agent, Bourgeois, and three other people, including Maynard, went out to apprehend him.

Harris attempted to run again but was apprehended, patted down and everything was taken out of his pockets and handed to a family member, Pearson said. The $50 in Harris’ pocket was taken by the agent to cover the bounty hunter fee and a receipt was issued to Harris’ mother, Pearson said. Saucier said the fact there was a receipt does not make the action legal.

“Any time money or goods are taken from a person by force and against their will, it’s robbery,” Saucier said. “If people want to leave receipts for their robberies, then that fine with us.”

Evidence collected by investigators concerning to whom the receipt was given does not fit Pearson’s story. Saucier said Harris’ mother was not there to receive the receipt.

The fact that Maynard is a convicted felon does not help the situation any either since it is a crime for felons to possess a firearm. Saucier said that fact only hurts Maynard.

Harris also alleged an antique coin and a gold ring were taken from him. Pearson and Saucier both said information about the presence of a ring so far has been proven.

“I’ve yet to determine if there was a gold ring,” Saucier said.

Saucier said the coin is still under investigation, but there is evidence of it having been taken.

Pearson wonders if the allegations against the people involved are true, then why did Harris wait six months to press charges. She thinks Harris may be sitting on a hot seat having been arrested in the most recent Sheriff’s Department drug raid.

“Sure, he’s gonna make a deal when they got a pile of drug charges on (him),” Pearson said.

Investigators with the department feel the time lapse is because Harris feared retaliation from the bounty hunters, Saucier said. Regardless, Saucier said there is no statute of limitations on robbery.

Reports of the incident have prompted a large number of other allegations from other people against the same bonding company for similar activity, which currently are being investigated.

“There’s people coming out of the wood work,” Saucier said.